A pancreatectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing a part or the entire pancreas. It is usually recommended when the pancreas develops a tumour or cancer, or in cases where the pancreas is severely damaged due to inflammation, injury, or other conditions.
Pancreas is a gland that is located behind the stomach and is responsible for producing enzymes and hormones that aid in the digestion of food and regulate blood sugar levels. The pancreas consists of two main parts – the endocrine pancreas, which produces hormones, including insulin and glucagon and the exocrine pancreas, which produces digestive enzymes.
Types of Pancreatectomy
Pancreatectomy can be of two types – total pancreatectomy and partial pancreatectomy.
- In a total pancreatectomy, the entire pancreas is removed along with the spleen, gallbladder, and a part of the small intestine.
- In partial pancreatectomy, only the affected part of the pancreas is removed, while the remaining healthy part is left intact.
Before the Procedure
Before the surgery, the patient will undergo a thorough physical examination and diagnostic tests to evaluate the extent of the disease. The doctor will also evaluate a detailed medical history of the patient and check if they are eligible for the surgery. The patient may also be required to follow certain pre-operative instructions, such as fasting or not taking certain medications.
During the Procedure
Pancreatectomy is a complex surgical procedure that involves removing the pancreas, surrounding tissues, and sometimes nearby organs. The surgery is usually performed under general anaesthesia and may take several hours to complete, depending on the extent of the disease. An incision in the abdomen will be made by the surgeon to access the pancreas and remove the affected parts.
After the Procedure
After the surgery, the patient will be moved to the recovery room to be closely monitored by the medical staff. The patient may experience pain, nausea, and vomiting, which can be managed with medications. The patient will also be required to follow certain post-operative instructions, such as taking pain medication, avoiding strenuous activity, and following a special diet. The recovery time usually varies depending on the extent of the surgery and the overall health of the patient.
Complications and Risks
Pancreatectomy is a complex surgical procedure that involves the removal of some part or all of the pancreas, which carries certain risks and complications. It is essential to understand these risks and complications before undergoing surgery to make an informed decision.
- Bleeding: Bleeding is one of the most common risk factors associated with Pancreatectomy, which can occur during or after the surgery. However, the risk of bleeding is minimal and can be managed well with proper care and follow-up.
- Infection: Another potential risk associated with this surgery is infection. Infection can occur due to a surgical incision or a weakened immune system. However, with appropriate antibiotics and care, the risk of infection can be minimized.
- Blood clots: Blood clots are another common risk associated with Pancreatectomy. Blood clots can develop in the legs or lungs and may require immediate medical attention.
- Damage to nearby organs: Pancreatectomy can also cause damage to nearby organs such as the spleen or the stomach. However, the risk of damage to nearby organs is minimal, and the surgeon will take appropriate precautions to minimize this risk.
In addition to these risks, the patient may experience complications such as pancreatitis, diabetes, and digestive problems after the surgery. However, with proper care and follow-up, most of these complications can be managed effectively.
Who is not Eligible?
When considering Pancreatectomy as a treatment option, it is important to keep in mind that not everyone is eligible for this surgical procedure. The decision to undergo Pancreatectomy depends on various factors, such as the extent of the disease, the patient’s overall health, and medical history.
Before the surgery, the doctor will conduct a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical condition to understand if they are a suitable candidate for Pancreatectomy. Patients who have underlying health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, or kidney disease may not be eligible for this surgery.
Moreover, patients with advanced-stage cancer may not be eligible for Pancreatectomy as the surgery may not provide any significant benefit in such cases. In such cases, the doctor may recommend alternative treatments, including chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Risks and Complications
It is also essential to understand that Pancreatectomy is a complex surgical procedure that carries certain risks and complications. Some complications associated with Pancreatectomy include:
- Pancreatic enzymes leaking into the abdomen from the site where the remaining pancreas is attached.
- Reduced immunity due to removal of spleen
- Late gastric emptying, where it gets difficult for food to pass quickly enough into the intestine
Treatment at Apollo Hospitals, Karnataka
At Apollo Hospitals, Karnataka, we provide world-class surgical care for patients requiring Pancreatectomy. Our experienced team of surgeons and medical staff are well-equipped to manage even the most complex cases. We offer state-of-the-art facilities and technologies to make sure that our patients get only the best possible care. We understand that undergoing any surgery can be an overwhelming experience, and we strive to provide compassionate care to our patients at every step of the way. Book your appointment today to avail the best possible care for your Pancreatectomy.